Aruba is one of the best destinations in the Caribbean to experience live music, known for its vibrant tropical energy and diverse entertainment options. The capital city of Oranestad is known as a hotbed of jazz and Latin music for the Caribbean, as numerous clubs and concert halls host concert groups throughout the year. Even outside the main tourist areas of Oranjestad live music can be heard in restaurants and beaches. The island is also home to major music festivals, the Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival – an annual event that takes place every May that introduces internationally renowned soul and R&B artists – and the Aruba Music Festival – a two-day festival that welcomes the best-selling rock band classics , upcoming superstars and lesser-known regional performers. While events such as the Aruba Music Festival are organized around the world, several festivals boast a unique combination of entertainment in big cities and the inviting atmosphere of the Caribbean.
Although only in its 8th official season, the Aruba Music Festival has already attracted an incredible array of top-selling artists. Before it became Aruba Music Festival, the event was known as Aruba Jazz and Latin Festival. Designed in the 1980s to showcase the rich music tradition of the Caribbean region, the Aruba Jazz and Latin Festival was expanded and renamed in 2002. Although the Aruba Music Festival was created as a way of presenting the best international touring acts, The festival has remained true to its roots and continues to offer jazz and Latin performers throughout the Caribbean.
Although the lineup for this festival has not yet been announced, the event is sure to feature some classic rock acts as well as many local, regional and future international performers. In recent years, the headliners of the Aruba Music Festival have included well-known classic rock bands such as Chicago, the Doobie brothers, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Queen and Crosby Stills and Nash. The festival has also attracted several internationally acclaimed songwriters such as Lionel Richie, Jackson Brown and contemporary favorite, John Mayer. Before the headliners hit the stage every day at the Aruba Music Festival, the side scene is warmed by a diverse range of music styles, most of which are offered by bands specializing in dance-appropriate Caribbean genres.
The Aruba Music Festival is held annually at Aruba's most modern entertainment center. The spacious seating area allows concert people to enjoy the cool evening in a picturesque setting, just a five-minute drive from the center of Oranjestad and fifteen minutes by car from the island's hotel area. The Aruba Entertainment Center offers superb acoustics and open-air, yet intimate design ensures that all concertgoers have excellent views of the main stage. The venue has great shared access and open lawns that allow concertgoers to stretch blankets and enjoy a relaxing, picnic-like experience, while those who prefer reserved seats will find great views close to the stage. Behind the seating areas, a number of concession stands serve food and beverages, including local breweries and snacks.
As the Aruba Music Festival takes place shortly before the peak tourist season begins, budget travelers visiting the island before winter break have an excellent opportunity to enjoy the island's lively music scene. Tourists visiting Aruba during the fall season will also be safe in the prime time as the island falls outside the storm that affects many Caribbean islands.
The Aruba Music Festival will be held this weekend over the weekend of October 9-10. Once a schedule of title acts has been developed this year, updates on the festival can be found on Aruba's official tourism website (www.aruba.com). As the schedule will be prominently displayed in local tourist publications, travelers can also contact the resort for more details about the festival.